Who do we confide in when it pertains to our deepest and most private secrets and thoughts? Is it a stranger in the grocery line, a random passenger on the bus or subway or someone you just met for the first time? No. It’s human nature to be more guarded with a stranger. We tend to reveal the most intimate and important details of our lives to those that we trust. Often this person is your best friend.

That best friend could be a family member or a spouse, a beloved neighbor or any number of are significant alternatives. Ordinarily they are the relationships that we have developed over time. They help safeguard us and most likely ensure our emotional and personal security. Knowing that there is a person who knows you better than anyone else on the planet is very reassuring. Knowing that they understand the complete and honest truth regarding who you are helps ensure that there are no secrets. Such relationships are significant and irreplaceable.

Our hopes, our dreams and fears need to be shared with another trusted soul. Full transparency, no way for us to hide from reality. As a human being it is freeing to know that we can expose everything about ourselves; the good, the bad and the ugly and yet still feel safe. It keeps us honest and also protects us from ourselves. It is also important that these confidants already know our history. For example; when you choose to share news, good or bad, with your closest friend you don’t have to preface it with a lengthy history. They already have intimate knowledge about your life, your fears, hopes and dreams. They already know about your successes and failures, your recent breakup, concerns about your daughter’s new boyfriend; etc. There is no need to rehash the details. They already know it. Wow, that’s a relief. You can just cut to the chase. I guess my question is this: Why don’t we add our personal health care provider to this list of personal confidants? After all, without proper healthcare, which equates to improved overall health and wellness, what happens to our quality of life? Not just for us personally, but all of the loving and trusted people in our lives.

This are many reasons to advocate adding a primary health care or provider to your list of trusted friends and confidants. These professionals really make a difference in our lives.

By definition, a primary care provider acts as the first point of contact and principal point of continuing care for patients within a healthcare system and coordinates other specialists care that the patient may need. Patients commonly receive primary care from professionals such as primary care physicians, a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse or a physician assistant. Not only will they potentially save you time, money and aggravation. They can also, quite literally, save your life by providing a well educated solution to your health care concern, and provide you with an excellent professional referral based on their findings.

Primary care providers and physicians are trained to practice and display a depth of knowledge in multiple fields of medicine. This makes these providers the most qualified first point of contact when addressing your health and wellness concerns. This wide range of perspective and knowledge also affords a well researched data base of referrals.

Choosing your primary health care provider is an important decision. Here are some suggested guidelines:

What is your initial impression of the office? Are they friendly and efficient? What is their demeanor like with the patients? How do the co-workers interact with each other? How quickly can you be scheduled for and seen for an appointment? When you do set an appointment what is the average wait time before you are seen by the provider? Most importantly, choose a provider that you feel confident and comfortable with. Quality healthcare should be a two way conversation. When you establish a solid, comfortable relationship with your health care provider you will discover he or she will have an intimate knowledge of your health history which will afford you the opportunity to engage in an informed dialogue regarding the treatment options that are most beneficial to you.

In conclusion, anytime we have to address a health scare it can be unsettling. We often feel frightened or helpless, having this solid personal point of contact with a familiar healthcare provider goes a long way in alleviating stress and fear. This is so much more comforting than turning to a stranger in your time of need.

So if you do not have a primary care provider, now is the time. Go find your new best friend today. You deserve the peace of mind.